India stands by its demand for extradition of Headley

Last Updated: Fri, Jan 25, 2013 07:06 hrs

New Delhi: India on Friday made it clear that it will stand by its demand for extradition of Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorist David Headley, accused in the 26/11 Mumbai attacks case.

Headley, an American had admitted scouting targets for the 2008 militant raid on Mumbai and later agreed to testify against the plotters to avoid the death penalty, was sentenced on Thursday (January 24) to 35 years in prison.

Headley, who later agreed to testify against the Mumbai attack plotters to avoid the death penalty, was sentenced to 35 years in prison.

Reacting on Headley getting lesser punishment from the US court, Union Home Secretary RK Singh said: "We have made our stand clear earlier. The plea bargain is between Headley and the US Government. We stand by our extradition request, as Headley was one of the conspirators not only involved in the Mumbai attack but he also visited many places of the country. All involved in the 26/11 attack deserve death."

A US federal Attorney has also indicated that there is some possibility of extraditing Headley to India if he violates his plea agreement.

The Home Secretary also made it clear that India has asked Pakistan to take action against Headley's handlers Major Iqbal of the ISI and Sajid Mir, a veteran Lashkar chief accused of designing the attack.

Iqbal remains an officer in the Pakistani Army, and Mir remains in Pakistan protected by the ISI.

"We have made it clear to the Pakistan Government to bring all the conspirators to justice. We have also shared our information with Pakistan about people involved in the incident (Mumbai attack)," Singh said.

Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid also expressed disappointment on Friday over India not been allowed to conduct Headley's trial inspite of him being the co-conspirator in the 2008 Mumbai carnage.

He said: "Our request and demand was that we try him in our own country and I think that possibly it would have been more serious and severe sentencing but 35 years sentencing and what the judge has said is a beginning.

Earlier New Delhi had expressed disappointment over failure of the earnest plea for Headley's extradition for his role in militant attacks on Mumbai. (ANI)

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